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1.    booker t. washington:  african-american educator who believed the best way for african-americans to get ahead was to get a vocational education and achieve economic success without demanding immediate social change.  his ideas are sometimes called the atlanta compromise after a speech he gave in atlanta.

2.    andrew carnegie:  steel manufacturer whose workers struck in the homestead strike and were opposed by his business partner henry clay frick.  carnegie believed that the rich had earned their wealth, but had an obligation to use it to help society, an idea known as the gospel of wealth, after his essay, 'wealth.'  he gave away 90% of his vast fortune.

3.    sojourner truth:  african-american woman who opposed slavery and demanded women's rights.  she gave a famous speech entitled 'ain't i a woman,' connecting the ideas of slavery and women's inequality, and calling on victorian ideas of protecting women to do so.

4.    jane addams:  woman who managed hull house, a settlement house in chicago that helped immigrants assimilate into american society.  it also offered some charitable welfare and gave middle-class and upper-class women a way to work to help society at a time when it was not respectable for them to hold most jobs.

5.    jacob riis:  author of how the other half lives and other works of photo-journalism, exposing the misery and filth of new york's tenements and sweat-shops.  he was an early muckraker (or a fore-runner of them) and encouraged theodore roosevelt to take up reform movements.

6.    cornelius vanderbilt:  made a fortune in transportation--steamboats and railroads.  he was the richest man in the world when he died in 1885.  he gave money to a university in nashville, which renamed itself in his honour.  known as 'the commodore.'

7.    george westinghouse:  developed the air brake, making trains easier and safer to stop, thus letting railroads run longer trains and run them at higher speeds.  he also created one of the first and most influential electric companies in competition with thomas edison.

8.    george pullman:  developed the sleeper car so that people could sleep in beds during long trips.  he made other improvements to railroad cars as well.  in 1894  there was a major strike at the company town of pullman, just outside of chicago, that was crushed by grover cleveland and that propelled e. v. debs to prominence as a labour leader.

9.    milton hershey:  developed shelf-stable chocolate that could keep a long time and be transported long distances.  he treated his workers well and left much of his fortune to a charitable trust that, among other things, takes care of the welfare of hershey company town residents today.

10.eleuthère irénée du pont and the du pont family:  founded and ran a major gunpowder company that later produced many other chemicals.

11.alexander graham bell:  invented the telephone while trying to find a way to help the deaf; founded the bell telephone company, which later merged to form the american telephone & telegraph company.

12.thomas edison:  patented the first useful electric light and over a thousand other things, largely through the use of the first research company at menlo park, new jersey.

13.john d. rockefeller:  founded standard oil company and became the richest man in the world at the time through horizontal integration (monopolisation) of the oil industry.

14.philip armour:  founded a meat-packing company based on assembly lines.

15.gustavus swift:  founded a meat-packing company and developed refrigerated railroad cars.

16.the dawes act (1887):  law passed to give american indian lands to individual indians, allowing the extra reservation lands to be sold off.  the idea was to force indians to give up tribal lands, government, and culture.

17.black friday (1869):  scandal during the grant administration when jay gould and jim fisk tried to corner the gold market (with the help of members of grant's government), nearly destabilising the economy. 

18.credit mobilier:  a company created to build the union pacific railroad that then overcharged the union pacific (which also owned credit mobilier), which passed the costs on to the us government, making profits for the owners and for congressmen who were bribed.  it came to light during the grant administration, and was another of many scandals that hurt his reputation.

19.whiskey ring:  scandal during the grant administration during which politicians stole whiskey excise tax money.

20.tammany hall:  democratic political machine that controlled new york city and much of the state from the late 18th century through the mid-20th century.

21.civil service reform:  the idea that government jobs should be awarded based upon merit rather than the spoils system (rewards for political work).  this idea began to be put into force after the assassination of president garfield by a disappointed office-seeker.  it was the cause of a major split in the republican party between the reforming half-breeds (later mugwumps, later progressives) and the conservative stalwarts.

22.granger laws:  laws passed by politicians supported by farmers' groups the grangers.  most of them were attempts to regulate the railroads.

23.interstate commerce act (1887):  created the interstate commerce commission to regulate transportation.  it was weak at first, but later was able to regulate the railroads (and later other forms of transportation) effectively.

24.frederick jackson turner's frontier thesis:  according to turner, in america, the frontier was where democracy was created, and where it was born anew every time the frontier advanced.  as the edge of settlement moved westward, people were obliged to start anew, but without the trappings and conveniences of the settled world, they had to work side by side and discovered equality.  these newly democratised men, in turn, came back to the old seats of power and renewed and invigorated them with democratic ideals all over again.  furthermore, the frontier was also a safety valve.  when cities became too crowded or when some people did not fit into civilised society, they could always head west.

25.social darwinism:  the application of darwin's theories of the survival of the fittest to society, suggesting that poor and survival of the fittest to society, suggesting that poor and downtrodden people or races were naturally so because they were not fit to prosper, whereas it was natural that the rich and powerful be so.  furthermore, it was pointless to try to change the social order, because it was as nature made it.

26.the monroe doctrine:  america's promise (since 1824) to protect independent countries in the western hemisphere from european domination.

27.the spanish-american war (1898):  yellow journalists (sensationalist newspaper publishers) encouraged a war with spain to protect the peoples of spain's colonies, expand american trade (by providing coaling stations, opening markets, and protecting american businesses in spain's colonies), gain territory (puerto rico, the philippines, guam, and guantanamo bay), get revenge for the (probably accidental) sinking of uss maine, spread anglo-saxon culture, and sell newspapers.  this set a precedent for us military occupation of foreign--mainly caribbean--countries when it was expedient.

28.the panama canal:  canal built through panama to promote (mostly american) trade after the us helped panama gain its independence from colombia.

29.meat inspection act (1906) and pure food and drug act (1906): regulated the medical and meat-packing industries after the publication of upton sinclair's the jungle.

30.initiative:  progressive idea of the people proposing a law.

31.referendum:  progressive idea of the people voting on laws.

32.recall:  progressive idea of the people voting to remove an elected official from office.

33.muckrakers:  writers who tried to expose problems of their time (early 20th century).

34.prohibition:  outlawing alcohol.  became law nationwide with the ratification of the xviii amendment in 1919.

35.the 'perfect 36:'  term used to honour tennessee's role as the 36th state (the last one needed) to ratify the xix amendment, granting women the right to vote.

36.anne dallas dudley:  tennessean who was very active in both the national and state campaigns to get women the right to vote.

37.harry burn:  republican state representative from mcminn county who cast the deciding vote allowing tennessee to ratify the xix amendment.

38.governor albert h. roberts:  governor of tennessee (1919-1921) who supported the ratification of the xix amendment by calling a special session of the state legislature to vote on it and performed the marriage ceremony for alvin and gracie york.

39.harlem renaissance:  a period of african-american literary, musical, and artistic growth in the 1920s.

40.w.e.b. dubois:  author of the souls of black folk who believed that african-americans should demand equality as soon as possible.  helped found the national association for the advancement of colored people (naacp).  frequently disagreed with booker t washington.

41.marcus garvey:  black nationalist and black separatist of the early 20th century who believed that black people should become economically self-sufficient and eventually go back to africa to found their own politically, socially, and economically independent nation.  tried to create black-owned businesses and clubs.  eventually arrested for mail fraud.

42.the lost generation:  writers of the 1920s who felt alienated by, and criticised, the consumerist middle-class life of the time.

43.the treaty of versailles:  treaty that ended wwi, taking land from germany, imposing crushing reparations, and deliberately humiliating her people.  resentment of this treaty and the politicians who signed it was a cause of wwii.  it also included woodrow wilson's idea of a league of nations, but this failed to contain fascist or japanese aggression and was a failure of the idea of collective security.

44.totalitarianism:  a government that seeks to exert total control over its citizens' lives, including their beliefs, often through a cult of personality around a leader.  common in fascist and communist dictatorships.

45.nationalism:  an intense love for one's nation (often defined by ethnicity), which can lead to prejudice and even aggression against members of other nations (including ethnic minorities living in one's own nation).

46.fascism:  an ideology of extreme nationalism, frequently to the point of racism, mixed with militarism.  examples include nazi germany and italy under mussolini.

47.communism:  a belief that all property should be owned by everyone.  particularly used by workers' movements to insist that the means of production be owned by the people who worked with them.  karl marx wrote that it could only be implemented by a bloody dictatorship.  theoretically such a dictatorship would later fade away, but in reality, never did peacefully.  communist revolutions overthrew the russian tsar in 1917 and the republic of china in 1949.  they later tried to create spheres of influence to compete against the united states in the cold war.

48.anti-semitism:  hatred for jews as a race (technically, hatred for arabs, too).

49.hoovervilles:  shantytowns built by the homeless during the depression.  named (as many things were) after hebert hoover, who was president when the depression began.

50.the bonus army:  a group of veterans who marched to washington to demand that their pensions be paid early.  their camp was attacked by the us army and some were killed.

51.social security:  new deal pensions for the elderly funded by a payroll tax. 

52.wpa (works progress administration):  new deal program to create jobs, including for artists and writers, many of whom decorated public buildings.  they also collected the stories of former slaves who were still alive and could be interviewed.

53.tva (tennessee valley authority):  new deal program that built dams in the tennessee valley to create jobs, control floods, and provide cheap hydroelectricity.

54.indian reorganisation act (1934):  also called the indian new deal, it reversed the dawes act, protecting tribal lands and recognising tribal governments.

55.fdic (federal deposit insurance corporation):  new deal program to insure deposits in banks so that people could not lose their life savings in a future bank failure.

56.ccc (civilian conservation corps):  new deal program to create jobs for young men working outdoors.  they built parts and part of the appalachian trail.

57.wagner act/fair labour standards act:  act passed during the new deal to recognise the rights of unions to strike and bargain collectively.

58.g.i. bill:  gave loans to returning wwii veterans and helped many pay for college.

59.fort campbell:  army base built near clarksville, tennessee in 1941 to accommodate the expansion of the military after wwii began.  also held axis pows during wwii.

60.camp forrest:  army training camp near tullahoma, tn.  one of the largest training camps in the country.  was also used to house german and italian pows.

61.cordell hull:  tennessean who was secretary of state for franklin roosevelt.  helped create the united nations.

62.oak ridge: town in tennessee chosen for refining uranium as part of the manhattan project to build an atomic bomb.  oak ridge was chosen because its location would make it hard to spy on and hard to attack.  it also had cheap electricity thanks to tva.  the uranium refined there was later used to make 'little boy,' dropped on hiroshima.  the plutonium used in 'fat man,' dropped on nagasaki, was refined in hanford, washington.

63.alcoa:  company town built by the aluminum company of america in tennessee.  alcoa built hydroelectric dams on tributaries of the tennessee.  their aluminum was used in wwi and wwii warplanes.

64.eastman chemical company:  a chemical company located in kingsport, tennessee, and one of the largest employers in the state.  it produced explosives for the military during wwii at the holston ordnance works and helped manage the y-12 nuclear reactor in oak ridge during wwii, bringing scientists from kingsport to work there.

65.plessy v. ferguson:  1896 supreme court case that declared 'separate but equal' segregation was legal.

66.brown v. board:  1954 supreme court case that declared that separate facilities in education were inherently unequal; ordered desegregation with all deliberate speed.

67.miranda v. arizona:  1966 supreme court case that determined that anyone placed under arrest must be made aware of his rights, or else information obtained from him is not admissible in court.

68.gideon v. wainwright:  1963 supreme court case that determined that accused persons have a right to an attorney while on trial and that the court must provide one for those who cannot afford one.

69.escobedo v. illinois:  1964 supreme court case that determined that people in police custody have a right to an attorney while being questioned by the police.

70.clinton high school:  high school in clinton, tn, that was the first to be desegregated (1956-57 school year) in accordance with the brown v. board decision.

71.the clinton twelve:  12 african-american students who attended clinton high school.

72.governor frank clement:  governor of tennessee during the integration of clinton high school who sent the national guard to protect the black students.  he also supported education across the state and made sure that all students got textbooks paid for by the state.

73.little rock central high school:  high school in arkansas desegregated in 1957-58 in accordance with the brown v. board decision.  it was opposed by many local people and governor orval faubus, who used the national guard to keep black students out of the school.  eventually president eisenhower sent the 101st airborne to protect the students and force integration.

74.montgomery bus boycott:  boycott of the montgomery, alabama bus system by african-americans following the arrest of rosa parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger.  it lasted from december, 1955 to december, 1956, and forced montgomery to desegregate its bus system.  martin luther king, junior was one of the leaders and this helped him become nationally famous.

75.freedom riders:  white and black people, mostly students, who rode integrated busses into the south.  some were from tennessee, and at least one of the busses was loaded in nashville.  the first freedom rides were in 1961.

76.birmingham bombings:  black churches, homes, and businesses were often bombed in birmingham, alabama.  the most famous was at the 16th street baptist church in 1963 which killed four black girls.

77.nashville lunch counters:  site of peaceful sit-ins organised by students from february to may, 1960 that integrated nashville's lunch counters.

78.martin luther king, junior's march to washington:  march by 200,000-300,000 people to washington, d.c. in august, 1963 to demand civil rights laws.  king made his famous 'i have a dream' speech during the event.  this march helped lead to passage of the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965.

79.the civil rights act (1964):  outlawed many forms of discrimination against blacks and women, including racial segregation. it ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace, and by facilities that served the general public.

80.the civil rights act (1968):  outlawed discrimination in housing, including 'steering' (encouraging members of particular races or ethnic groups to move into particularly neighbourhoods) and 'redlining' (refusing to give loans to people seeking to buy property in certain areas, often based on race or average income).

81.the great society:  lyndon johnson's efforts to create and expand welfare programs.

82.the bay of pigs:  area where cuban exiles invaded cuba in 1961 hoping to spark a revolution against castro.  john f kennedy promised them air support, but withdrew it at the last minute, leading to their defeat.  this contributed to the ussr's decision to put nuclear missiles in cuba.

83.brinksmanship:  pushing an issue as close to the brink of a crisis as possible in order to force the other side to give in.  however, this means that threats must always get worse.  during the cold war this included seeming willing to go to nuclear war.  it was part of both sides' strategy during the cuban missile crisis.

84.the cuban missile crisis:  crisis in 1962 when america u-2 spy planes discovered that the soviet union had placed nuclear missiles in cuba in response to the bay of pigs invasion and to the presence of american nuclear missiles in italy and turkey.  both sides pushed the issue close to the brink of nuclear war, until khrushchev backed down and removed the missiles.  kennedy also agreed to remove us missiles from turkey and not to invade cuba again.

85.peaceful co-existence:  khrushchev's stated policy of trying to get along with the united states and their allies.

86.strom thurmond:  governor of south carolina and later senator from that state who ran for president in 1948 as a dixiecrat opposed to integration.  he later set a record by holding a filibuster for over 24 hours in opposition to the civil rights act of 1957.

87.eugene 'bull' connor:  commissioner of public safety for the city of birmingham, alabama, he controlled the police and fire department and used them to oppose the civil rights movement in the early and mid-1960s, often violently.

88.george wallace:  governor of alabama in the 1960s who opposed integration.  he ran for president in 1968 with the american independent party appealing to opponents of integration but also to an urban working class who were angry about urban riots and hippie protesters.

89.diane nash:  african-american woman who, while a student at fisk university in nashville, helped organise the nashville sit-ins, the student non-violent coordinating committee, the first freedom ride, the birmingham protests of 1963, and the selma marches of 1964. 

90.betty friedan:  author of the feminine mystique, the most famous of her many works criticising the traditional role of women in society, particularly the highly conformist expectations of the 1950s and early 1960s.

91.martin luther king, junior:  a major leader of the civil rights movement who insisted on non-violence.  he was assassinated in memphis, tennessee, in 1968.

92.malcolm x:  black nationalist who was a member of the nation of islam until he turned away from the idea of violence, after which he was murdered.

93.stokely carmichael:  member of sncc who came to believe that non-violence was no long enough by the mid-1960s.  he also tried to cultivate a separate black identity and encouraged african-americans to become economically independent from whites.

94.albert gore, senior:  senator from tennessee who refused to sign the southern manifesto, a document drawn up by many southern politicians opposing desegregation.  he was eventually forced from office by nixon's southern strategy due to his support for civil rights and his opposition to the vietnam war.

95.the gulf of tonkin resolution:  resolution passed by congress in august, 1964 in response to north vietnamese attacks on us navy vessels in the gulf of tonkin.  it gave the president almost unlimited power to make war without being an official declaration of war.

96.the grand ole opry:  one of the oldest radio programs in the world, it has been broadcast since 1925.  it helped make country music popular around the world and helped make nashville a centre of the music industry.

97.wsm:  call sign of the radio station that broadcasts the grand ole opry.

98.sun records:  record company in memphis that produced records for elvis presley, johnny cash, jerry lee lewis and other rock and roll and rhythm and blues musicians.

99.stax records:  record company in memphis that produced records for many important musicians, particularly african-americans, and helped make soul music popular.

100.    elvis presley:  one of the first and most influential rock and roll musicians.  he was able to combine traditional white and black folk, gospel, blues, and other music to shape rock and roll.

101.    estes kefauver:  senator from tennessee who refused to sign the southern manifesto, a document drawn up by many southern politicians opposing desegregation.  he became famous in 1950 for leading the senate special committee to investigate crime in interstate commerce, also known as the kefauver committee, which led to the conviction of many leaders of organised crime and ruined the careers of politicians associated with them.  he nearly got the democratic presidential nomination in 1952 and 1956 and did run as for vice-president in both of those years.  he eventually was forced from office due to his support of civil rights.

102.    sam walton:  arkansas businessman who founded wal-mart and sam's club.  wal-mart grew into the largest company in the world and has stores around the globe.  in many places it provides very cheap goods in a wide variety, but it also puts local businesses that cannot buy in the bulk it does out of business and it pays its employees very little and avoids paying them benefits when possible.

103.    michael dell:  founded dell computers, which began selling computers directly to customers rather than through stores, allowing customers to save money and have more choice in what kind of computer they would have.  it played a large role in making the personal computer widespread.

104.    ray kroc:  turned mcdonald's into a nation-wide fast-food chain through the franchise system, in which local businessmen purchase the right to use the company's name and methods (which include turning out food by a standardised, assembly-line method) and agree to buy their supplies from the national company, allowing the chain to spread while ensuring that its products are uniform across the country.  today mcdonald's is the world's largest chain of fast-food hamburger restaurants. 

105.    lee iococca:  executive at ford and later chrysler who revived chrysler's business in the 1980s after the decline of the american automobile industry in the 1970s.  he saved chrysler in large part by convincing congress in 1979 to bail out the failing company to save american jobs.  he also introduced cheap, fuel-efficient compact cars during the recession of the early 1980s and sold the first minivan, which became the best-selling type of car throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

106.    donald trump:  real estate developer and businessman who recovered from bankruptcy in the late 1980s and 1990s, partly through using his famous name in the entertainment industry.

107.    bill gates:  founder of microsoft, which created ms-dos and later windows, two of the most widely-used operating systems in personal computers.  windows eventually became so dominant that microsoft was tried on charges of monopolising the computer industry by packaging other programmes with windows.  it became dominant because it was so easy to use and because other companies were allowed to write programs that would run on it, in contrast to apple computers for much of their early history.

108.    steve jobs:  co-founder of apple computers, which released the macintosh in 1984, the first computer to have a graphical user interface that the user controlled with a mouse rather than by typing (soon copied by microsoft windows).  apple had problems in the 1990s, but brought back steve jobs (who had left the company), who designed more stylish computers and other devices such as the imac (1998), ipod (2001), iphone (2007), and ipad (2010).

109.    jeff bezos:  founder of amazon.com, one of the first and most successful on-line businesses.

110.    nafta:  the north american free trade agreement, created by presidents george h. w. bush and bill clinton.  it went into force in 1994, removing most trade barriers between the us, mexico, and canada, allowing each country to specialise in what it could produce most efficiently.  it also led to the loss of many american jobs as companies began to manufacture more products in mexico where labour costs were lower.

this page last updated 7 december, 2011.
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